Periodic table properties
The periodic table is a graphical representation of the chemical elements, arranged by atomic number, electron configurations, and chemical properties. Elements in the same row (called a period) have the same number of electron shells, while elements in the same column (called a group or family) have similar chemical and physical properties. These properties can include things like melting and boiling points, reactivity, and electronegativity. Additionally, elements in the same group tend to have similar valence electron configurations, which can affect their chemical bonding behavior.
- Metals, located on the left side of the table (with the exception of hydrogen), tend to be good conductors of heat and electricity, have high melting and boiling points, and are usually solid at room temperature. They also tend to be shiny and ductile (able to be stretched into wire) when freshly polished.
- Non-metals, located on the right side of the table, tend to be poor conductors of heat and electricity, have low melting and boiling points, and are usually gases or brittle solids at room temperature. They also tend to be dull and not ductile.
- Metalloids, located along the stair-step line separating metals from non-metals, have properties intermediate between those of metals and non-metals.
- The elements in the first column (called the “alkali metals”) are highly reactive and are typically found in nature in the form of compounds rather than as pure elements. They have low melting and boiling points, and are soft and silvery.
- The elements in the second column (called the “alkaline earth metals”) are also reactive, but less so than the alkali metals. They have higher melting and boiling points and are harder and silvery or gray.
- The elements in the last column (called the “noble gases”) are chemically unreactive and are typically found in nature as gases. They are colorless, odorless, and have low boiling points.